In his thrillingly contemporary retelling of the world’s oldest epic, award-winning poet Derrek Hines brings us as close as we may ever come to re-creating the power it had over its original listeners more than four thousand years ago in the ancient Near East.
Gilgamesh, the semi-divine ruler of Uruk, is a larger-than-life bully and abuser of his people. In order to tame the arrogant king, the gods create the wild and handsome Enkidu. But after Enkidu and Gilgamesh become fast friends, they defy the gods in a series of outsized adventures that brings Gilgamesh face to face with both loss and death itself. Hines energizes this timeless tale with vivid and electrifyingly modern images, from the goddess Ishtar cracking the sound barrier, to a battlefield nightmare of spectral snipers and exploding hand grenades, to the CAT-scan image of a dying friend. The themes of love and friendship, grief, despair, and hope had their first great expression in this story, and this dazzling new interpretation brings us into its thrall again.
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Air shattering Akkadian Alice Kavounas anger April Gate armour Auras beasts beauty boat breath breeze brushing Bull of Heaven carousel cavitation chariot Christopher Logue civilisation Cul-de-sac dawn dead desert dream dusk's dust edge Enkidu's soul Enlil Epic of Gilgamesh Ereshkigal Euphrates evaporate eyes face fate fear garment of Ishtar gasping Gilgamesh and Enkidu Gilgamesh DERREK HINES Gilgamesh returned Gilgamesh's Death Goddess of love gods harlot heart Herb of Rejuvenation heroes hierodule Hines's hips Humbaba images immortality King of Uruk Lady Shiduri lifts light lisp lives Lord Gilgamesh Lord now lettest mouth night Odysseus Ovid Pleiades poem pulse reed bed returned to Uruk river Sacred Cedars sacrilege shadows Shamhat shoulder silence sleep southern Mesopotamia Sumer Sumerian Noah summer thought Tigris translated Trapper twist Two-thirds divine Underworld Ur-shanabi Uruk's Uta-napishti wake watched wind wind's wise goddess wizard written in cuneiform